6-star travel experience!

3 Country cruise (NL, BE, FR)

Day 1


A city known for the innovative architecture and large port.

Arrival from Amsterdam in the early afternoon (from the airport or respective hotel) to barge Aurora moored up in Schiedam. Introduction to the ship and the crew, settling in, welcome with champagne and petit fours/canape reception. Afternoon visit of Rotterdam with the most significant highlights of the city. Dinner onboard. Evening walk through old Schiedam harbor.

  • rotterdam blaak from above
  • rotterdam skyline night

Day 2

Rotterdam to Willemstad

A journey through Dutch heritage, from the port of Rotterdam to the historic towns of Dordrecht and Willemstad.

Departure from Schiedam after breakfast (possibility to visit the ancient distillery of Ketel One, where one of the most prestigious vodkas in the world is made) – with a cruise through the busy port of Rotterdam onto Dordrecht – here guests get to spend the afternoon visiting the oldest town in the Netherlands. Aurora carries on across the Hollandse Diep, part of the Dutch estuaries, to the charming old fortress town of Willemstad for our evening mooring spot. Dinner on board.

  • cruising through dordrecht
  • dordrecht city architecture

Day 3

Willemstad to Antwerpen

Explore the city of Antwerp, get immersed in Rubens' legacy with a guided tour of his house and stroll through the picturesque old quarter, including notable sights.

Today, we will leave Holland (we pass the town of Tholens and an impressive Kreekrak lock) and cross the border into Belgium and cruise to the bustling port of Antwerpen. Antwerpen is the city of Rubens. After lunch, we tour Rubens’ home and take a stroll in the old quarter of this beautiful Flemish city with the possibility to visit the Onze Lieve Vrouwenkerk cathedral, city hall, the main market square, and the medieval Steen Castle. Dinner on board.

  • antwerpen city center
  • kraakrak luis

Day 4

Antwerpen to Ghent

A city known for its rich history and vibrant atmosphere.

After breakfast, we can catch the flood tide up the winding “Sea Schelde”, which takes us to the gorgeous town of Ghent. Here you get to spend some time so that you can visit the magnificent cathedral which houses “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb”, the fabulous and famous painting by the Van Eyck brothers, or take a walk through this wonderful town at your leisure and explore the local boutiques. The city of Ghent is proud of its rich past and its position at the junction of the Leie and Schelde rivers has ensured the town’s success as a trading port. Ghent is much more than just a museum town. This lively city with its numerous squares and cozy pubs is an excellent mixture of medieval edifices, stylish shopping streets, splendid mansions, working-class quarters from the beginning of the 20th century, and busy little squares where people eat out till the wee hours on a sultry summer night. Dinner on board.

  • Ghent churches
  • ghent city graslei

Day 5

Ghent to Bruges (road transport)

A town known also as "Venice of the North"

This morning we will not cruise and spend another day moored up in Ghent. Guests get to visit the beautiful little town of Bruges, known as the “Venice of the North”. You’ll have ample time to explore many museums, magnificent squares and maybe buy some of the handmade lace or take a boat trip on the small canals which meander through this picturesque town for a unique view of the Flemish architecture. Possible to visit the famous Belfry, Quay of the rosary, Hoistorium museum, Burg square or St. Boniface Bridge

  • brugges canals city
  • brugges city main square

Day 6

Ghent to Oudenaarde

A city known for its beautiful landscapes and historical charm.

Beautiful peaceful sailing on the Scheldt river into the Flemish Ardennes and the lovable town of Oudenaarde renown for its tapestries. After the lunch we get to visit spectacular center of the town full of patrician houses with the Gothic townhall (one of the most beautiful in Flanders, with its UNESCO inscribed belfry), cloth hall Mou Museum with the tapestry display and the beer brewery Brouwerij Liefmans.

  • oudenaarde city square
  • oudenaarde townhall

Day 7

Oudenaarde to Tournai

A historic landscape along the Scheldt

There’s plenty of time to relax this morning as we cruise gently up the River Schelde past sleepy hamlets and beautiful rolling landscapes until our arrival at Tournai (also known as Doornik in Flemish), an ancient Belgian town and I birthplace of Clovis I (founder of the Merovingian dynasty). Not to be missed is the aged and fascinating clock tower/ belfry on the wonderful square and a magnificent Romanesque Gothic cathedral with its five solemn square towers (two world heritage sites). Tournai’s belfry dates from around 1188, making it the oldest belfry in Belgium. You can observe the big ships navigate through the gate of the old Watergate and also not to be missed is the famous “ Pont des Trous” (Bridge with holes) used to collect tolls on the rivers in the old times. In 1940 the entire town was destroyed in a German air raid but restoration has been very successful. Dinner aboard.

  • aurora barge cruise tournai city center
  • aurora tournai view above

Day 8

Tournai to Arleux

Delights Along the River Schelde and Canal du Nord

Today we move further into France along the river through the town of Valenciennes and to the junction with the Canal du Nord. Many barges pass through the little French village of Arleux on there way to the south of France. We’ll take some time out to visit the town of Cambrai, home to the famous confectionary, the Betise de Cambrai sweet. ‘Betise’ means nonsense or mistake and legend goes that these sweets (mint candies) were invented by accident by the son of a confectioner named Afchain. They make a good gift! Possibility to visit modern art Matisse Museum / or a lace museum/ or a brewery. Dinner on board.

  • aurora canal du nord
  • aurora france nord cambrai aerial

Day 9

Arleux to Peronne

A Day of Scenic Wonders and Architectural Marvels

A day of contrasts awaits!
This morning your Captain will pilot Aurora over the Vermandois Hills of Picardy through many deep locks and several tunnels on the Canal du Nord. This canal was constructed to replace the neighboring and smaller Canal St.Quentin built to transport coal from the mines strewn around the Picardy region. This is no mean feat, and the scenery is spectacular too! The well-maintained towpath invites you to walk or cycle along through the rural landscape.
After lunch, we leave the countryside behind to visit the town of Amiens “Venice of the North” to see one of the most impressive Gothic cathedrals in France, with towering spires, magnificent columns and the tallest nave in France. Possibility to visit recreated prehistoric dwellings or local artefacts in Musee de Picardie.
Dinner aboard.

  • aurora barge cruise amiens
  • tunnel france

Day 10

Peronne to Noyon

Revealing hidden landscapes and history of WWI

After the climb yesterday, today we will drop down towards the Valley of the Somme, revealing landscapes not normally seen by tourists. Again, there are great opportunities for cycling. After breakfast, we will visit the war museum in Peronne dedicated to First World War history and set on the premises of the medieval castle. If there is a group interested in the history of the First World War (1914-1918) an extensive visit to the places connected to the era can be arranged. Afternoon cruise to our overnight destination. Dinner aboard.

  • aurora barge cruise historial peronne somme picardie
  • aurora barge cruise canal du nord

Day 11

Noyon to Compiegne

Royal Residences, Historic Significance, and Natural Beauty

Our cruise today brings us to the Oise River valley. We will moor in the busy waterside town of Compiegne. There is much to see here including the Royal Palace – a neoclassical chateau and a royal residence lavishly redecorated at Napoleon’s request, a huge town square and the train carriage where the WWI Armistice was signed to end the First World War. Possibility to hike or bike in the gorgeous forest full of ponds and sweet hamlets. Dinner aboard.

  • aurora barge cruise hotel de ville compiegne
  • aurora barge cruise sailing along-l'oise

Day 12

Compiegne to L’ Isle Adam

Tracing Van Gogh's Inspirations and Legacy

After breakfast, we continue our cruise through the beautiful Oise Valley. We will moor in charming little town L’Isle Adam. From here we take a visit to Auvers sur Oise, where Van Gogh took his inspiration to produce many of his last and most important paintings. He stayed in a small room above the local café. An afternoon walking tour may inspire you too and will include all the highlights such as the Van Gogh house, the Absinthe museum, the Atelier of Daubigny, and more! We’ll finish the tour at the cemetery where both Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Theo are buried. Dinner on board.

  • aurora barge cruise l'isle-adam bridgje
  • aurora barge cruise l'isle-adam

Day 13

L‘ Isle Adam to Conflans

Discover the Monets masterpieces

We continue our arty theme today with a day excursion to Giverny, to visit the home and gardens of Claude Monet, the most famous of the Impressionist painters. Stand by the Japanese bridge, gaze into the Lily pond and discover his many influences in the fascinating exhibition in the house. We will lunch in a local auberge today.The barge Aurora will be moored at Conflans this evening, at the junction of the River Seine and the Oise. Many bargees retire here, and you will see numerous house barges alongside the quays. Dinner aboard.

  • aurora barge cruises port cergy
  • view from conflans

Day 14

Conflans to Paris

Napoleon's legacy and Parisian gems

We slip away from Conflans at dawn to cruise along the mighty River Seine to Bougival, where we’ll visit the home of Napoleon at Malmaison, lavishly decorated by Josephine. Lunch on board and then we continue our cruise to Paris, past the iconic Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame cathedral to moor in the heart of Paris.
This evening, spent in such a romantic setting provides the perfect time to look back over your time onboard Aurora.

  • aurora barge cruises enroute to bougival
  • aurora barge cruises pont neuf paris

Day 15


An unforgettable end to your river cruise adventure

Enjoy a special hearty breakfast before bidding farewell to Aurora, her Captain and the crew. Bags are loaded after breakfast to transfer you to your drop off point in Paris.

Please note: This is a sample itinerary that may be subject to change depending on local conditions; The cruise is run in reverse towards the end of the season in October, ending in Rotterdam.

“Thank you for those people who make us happy for they are the gardeners of our souls! Thank you so very much for creating the ambience and barging our family through one of the most amazing weeks. We loved the food and the wine, the wonderful attention you gave us!”

- Lawrence Rockefeller, Rockefeller Centre, New York, USA -

“There is no water on the Moon! Canals on Mars are a hoax! Nothing can compare with a barge trip – a great relaxing trip with neat friends from Los Angeles. Thanks ever so much!”

- Buzz Aldrin, APOLLO XI

“Beautiful ship… Great to meet you! Sorry you were unable to come to the set!”

- Robert de Niro, USA -
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